The Sew Good Mask Project is a new organization in Oak Ridge formed to coordinate those making cloth masks with the organizations that are requesting them.
The three Rotary Clubs in Oak Ridge are working together to provide funding for the purchase of supplies for the Sew Good Mask Project as well as other much-needed personal protective equipment.
More than 65 volunteers have joined the Sew Good Mask Project since its creation on April 8. More than 1,100 masks have been donated to places including Methodist Medical Center, Emory Valley Center, the Free Medical Clinic of Oak Ridge, Oak Ridge High School, Oak Ridge Senior Center, Summit Medical Group Oak Ridge, Commonwealth Senior Living at Oak Ridge, Diversicare of Oak Ridge, and more, a press release said.
There are many ways to contribute to the project.
“You don’t need to be a sewer to help out,” said Judi Gray, the main force behind the Sew Good Mask Project.
Donations of fabric (unused, tightly woven, 100% cotton or cotton blend fabric), 1/4” or 1/8” elastic, and bias binding are needed, the press release said. Another way to help is by washing the donated fabric and cutting out the mask pieces. Volunteers can also sign up to pick up and deliver donated materials and masks.
But sewers are much needed as well. Fabric and elastic or ties are being provided for members of the group, and there are two simple patterns on the website.
“It doesn’t require advanced sewing skills to make the masks,” said Betsy Peterson, who is overseeing a group of sewers from Altrusa of Oak Ridge, where she is a member, in addition to making masks herself. “If you have a sewing machine and you can sew a straight line, you can do it!”
Children can help as well, with oversight by an adult. Fifteen-year-old Lindsey Fiscor has been picking up fabric from her Girl Scout leader’s porch and dropping off bundles of cut-out masks. She has cut out more than 150.
All Sew Good Mask masks are being donated, not sold. And all of those involved are volunteers, the press release said.
Linda Johnston is overseeing another part of the mask project: the collecting donations of medical masks and N95 masks from those who might have them at home or sitting unused at their currently closed businesses. She has started a trade-in program: people who donate new medical-grade masks will receive a cloth mask in return. The medical masks will go straight to doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals in Oak Ridge, the press release said.
Anyone who has any unopened medical-grade masks to donate/trade for cloth masks can contact Linda by texting (865) 335-5614 or by email at [email protected]. There is also information about the trade-in program on the Sew Good Mask website.
Volunteers who want to help, as well as organizations that would like to request masks, are encouraged to visit the Sew Good Mask website, www.GrowOakRidge.org/masks and the Sew Good Mask Facebook page, www.facebook.com/sewgoodmaksproject.